An Anstruther fisherman left with no demand from the fish markets for his East Neuk catch because of COVID-19, has launched his own, sustainable seafood operation.
Langoustine fisherman Kirk Doig has set up Carisma Seafood to deliver seafood to customers the same day it’s caught.
Mr Doig, who is captain of a prawn trawler named Carisma, said: “Before lockdown we fished on a quota system with fishing commencing on a Sunday night, working four to five shifts depending on the weather.
“The struggle for enough boats meant relying on long hours and tedious graft, landing enough of a catch for factories who pay little for a premium product, meaning we had to fish long hours to make a profit.
“We have really turned the fishing formula on its head and rather than meeting quotas I am now fishing to order.
“By targeting the best quality and by only taking what I need, I can provide a premium service with the freshest product.
“I specialise in catching langoustine but I’m also able to help other East Neuk creel fisherman by selling their lobster and crab within hours of coming ashore, unlike the larger, commercial fishing operations where the majority of the catch is frozen and destined for overseas markets.”
Mr Doig has been assisted by Scott McCallum, the managing director of Dundee design consultancy Avian and Laura Strong, director of Edinburgh creative agency Great Brink, who gave their services free of charge.
Mr McCallum said: “We wanted to do something really positive during this current Covid-19 crisis and this was the perfect opportunity to mobilise our team in support of a unique Scottish start up business.
“Over a period of only three weeks we came up with a name, a new brand, and a launch website to promote this innovative business.”
The business offers deliveries of fresh langoustine, lobster and crab with delivieries to Edinburgh & Lothians from Thursday to Sunday and Fife & Tayside from Monday to Wednesday. Collections can also be arranged from Pittenweem Harbour.
Mr Doig added: “The response has been incredible with customers now ordering every week that I’ve taken the plunge and bought a new delivery vehicle with chiller unit so we can expand and offer deliveries further afield.”